Based on developments such as
University of Tokyo researchers have developed flexible artificial skin that will allow robots to feel pressure, temperature, light, humidity, strain and sound. IBM’s new voice recognition systems will allow a more natural conversation with our silicon friends, and researchers at Redwood Neuroscience Institute dream of one day programming human cognitive behaviour into robots.
Dick predicts a time-line for robots in our homes:
2010: household robots will find their way into homes performing limited chores, providing valuable services for children, and enabling elderly people to live in their houses instead of going to nursing homes.
2015: robots perform most household chores.
2020: bots will understand our moods; know when we are happy, angry, in a hurry, or tired; and conduct meaningful conversations. We will rely on them to keep us organized, informed, and aware of everything happening in our world. They will express personal attraction for their masters and display near human-like personality.
2025: robots will become the most important family acquisition. These brilliant silicon creatures will understand our world and seamlessly interact with us. They will help manage our 2020s technologies: medical nanobots that keep our bodies in perfect health; counter-top replicators that provide food, clothing, appliances, or even build additional robots; and immersive virtual reality simulations that whisk us away to entertainment dreamland.
2030: human-machine merge will become possible.
The comments on the blog expressed both optimism and otherwise of such a future. Dick said in one of the replies:
No one knows for sure how our “magical future” might unfold, but as we multi-track projected breakthroughs in biotech, infotech, nanotech, and cognitive science, we get a clear picture that tomorrow’s life will be a vast improvement over today’s crude world.
What should we do today to avoid the scenario that one day robots find the human-spices a pest to their existence and decide to eliminate the carbon-based life-form?